Hidden challenges in your boat reveal themselves in funny ways. The re-splash drama we experienced, although painful, was not in vain. Chasing one gremlin uncovered another…and another. Our exhaust “system” had hidden problems. Lesson learned – check those clamps…even the ones you can’t see!
So – from “part 1″…the Boss (engineer-contractor) shows up and takes charge – he is an ex Marine and I was impressed with his problem solving abilities and his “customer first” attitude. He contacted the marina and ensured we would not be charged for the extra “on site” time. Then – he drove his crew like a pro to the solution (in the water). 24 hours later – we are safe and the exhaust system is brand new tip to stern.
As we struggled through the “engineering” issue of fabricating and installing the new engine exhaust loop (part 1) we found that the rest of the exhaust system was aged and failing right under our noses. Thanks to Aric Ehuler (Owner of Chesapeake Marine Engineering) and Spencer and Wade…we were made whole again. This is what you DON’T want your hose to look like:
This is the end of the run (below the waterline) that connected our 5 inch stern exhaust port to the engine – the d-lamination of this heavy hose was alarming. The clamps broke the minute we put a wrench on them to loosen them for removal. Funny thing is – it was not leaking…but disaster was only a breath away in heavy seas. It is all NEW now and completely re-done. Yes – the work was expensive and BOAT still stands for “Break Out Another Thousand!”
A few observations about this experience.
- When you find a problem (whether DIY or contracted) – inspect the entire system…this discovery and subsequent repair would have been much less stressful with the boat out of the water.
- If you can’t see it…you can’t inspect it. We plan to buy one of those flexi-cam tools (with a light) to help us see things that eyeballs can’t reach like clamps in tight places.
- Replace those clamps with each haul-out – and carry spares…the big ones!
- Have a plan to plug a BIG hole. We were prepared to deal with a thru-hull leak and have plugs/bungs aboard. We were not prepared to plug our exhaust ports – also holes in the boat! We were able (temporarily) to close our exhaust port (from the outside) with a fiberglass resin mixing cup and some 100 mph tape (below the waterline). We have purchased a few 5 inch inflatable soft rubber playground balls from Amazon ($9.00) to block our engine and generator exhaust ports when needed.
- You can DIY something like this if you recognize deficiencies before they become emergencies.
This experience has certainly made me a better DIY’er. I feel that I know the boat a bit better now being able to actively participate in this repair.